Whenever I write these posts giving tips of weight loss, I always think.. “Who the heck am I to tell someone what they should do??”
I know there are better, more qualified and credentialed resources out there to help you in your weight loss pursuit. So I begin again by reiterating my usual “disclaimer”.. this is from “just me”, a woman who has been down the path of gaining weight, being unhappy, trying every possible way to lose weight, finally losing the weight, meeting my desired goal, and maintaining that weight/fitness level for 3+ years.
My goal here is to try to share the things I found that work for me in hopes it can be helpful to someone else.
My “weight loss experiment” turned into an entirely different lifestyle. One which included an overall improvement in all aspects of my life.. physical, mental, emotional, etc. I am not sure all people buy into that concept when they are trying to lose a few or many pounds. I consider that a justifiable opinion. I get feedback that many consider my lifestyle too restrictive and too “fanatical”.
I usually hear things such as.. ‘I don’t want to “body-build”, I just want to tone’; “I prefer everything in moderation”; etc. I can respect that.. so I spent some time thinking of a list of just a few changes someone could try and possibly get the biggest bang for their buck.
Here is what I came up with..
1. EAT! As Taylor and I wrote about in Fit Myth 1..Busted.. Please don’t stop eating. Yes, you need a calorie deficit to lose weight but you also need energy to survive and not eating will actually back-fire on you and your goal. Nevertheless, this always seems like the go to answer.. decrease calories and increase cardio. So please.. make sure you eat and eat regularly.
2. Instead of being “scared” to eat.. be mindful of your food choices. Focus on eating the “right” things first.. read labels (see #3) and opt for the best choice.
What is the best choice? High in protein, low in carbs and fat. What may be considered “healthy”, may not be the best choice for weight (fat) loss.
Starting the day with a banana or cereal? Not a great choice for you goal. Better choice? Eggs.. add Ezekiel bread (not cinnamon raison) or oatmeal if you would wish for a well balanced breakfast.
Snack? Nonfat regular yogurt.. not the best choice for your goal.
Better choices? Almonds, Peanut Butter (in moderation).. both of these have fat and calories but are better choices.
Even better options? Greek yogurt (the no sugar added kind) or high protein, low carb protein bars (such as Quest, Power Crunch, or Think Thin).
Lunch? Veggie sandwich or Lean Cuisine.. not a great choice for your goal.
Better choice? Hamburger, no bun.
Even better options? Grilled chicken salad.. extra chicken if necessary. Go light on the dressing and avoid the high sugar dressings or Salmon, brown rice, and green veggie.
Dinner? Cereal or whole wheat pasta with veggies.. not a great choice for your goal.
Better choice? Steak, chicken, or fish, potato, and salad or veggies.
Maybe even better option? Large salad with lots of different veggies, very little carbs, and loads of chicken for your last meal of the day.
3. Read labels.. know what you are choosing and why. Watch out for empty calories. Read labels to try to get the most beneficial, “good” fuel. I tend to always try to eat 20-25 grams of protein at every meal (for me that is 6 or 8 meals, if I count my protein shakes).. with minimum carbs and moderate fat. This works best for me.
In my opinion, these aisles offer only poor choices.
Watch for hidden sugars and carbs.. those empty calorie “gotchas”. They can often be found in drinks as shown below. (Look into the nutritional information of your smoothie, fancy coffee drink, and hot chocolate. They are usually loaded with sugar , aka empty calories.. even the “skinny” ones.)
Craisins? Sounds healthy.. hidden gotcha with the high sugar though. I see they have improved that, however, in offering a reduced sugar with higher fiber alternative. Nice job, Ocean Spray. 🙂
I found these quinoa chips today and would personally choose these over pretzels. Why? Because the carb count is lower and protein is higher. Pair it with a can of tuna and it is a perfect snack.
Don’t fall for this “Skinny” protein bar..
Some of my favorite choices are..
4. Be very good . Then be very bad. Don’t “nibble” or “just have one” when you are being good. You don’t have to give up everything you love..but save them for a couple meals or one special day. This works best for me.. it is my “moderation”. Staying very good most meals, most days means no alcohol, eat lean protein, veggies, and “good” carbs in moderate amounts. Then be bad for a meal or two a week or a day a week.. enjoy and indulge in those chips and queso, wine, cupcake, mac and cheese, etc.
5. Build muscle .. don’t be afraid of getting bulky. You may build mass but as the fat comes off, it will not be bulk.. it will be a beautiful, lean, and efficient body. To do so.. lift weight, avoid long steady-state cardio that will use muscle as fuel, and instead do High Intensity Interval Training or sprints. The most important part of this is what happens to your metabolism and body composition. Chris Aceto explains it best..
If this piques your interest and you want more information, I provide more details and some recipes in Your Fitness Goal: The Sacrifice post. In addition, I have resources and recipes.. where you might ask? On my Resources, Recipes, and More page.. yes! 🙂
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